The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

  • Mr Bah, yesterday we looking at some documents that set out your personal circumstances and also the money that you received from the Prosecution. It's right, isn't it, that you've also received quite a lot of money from the Witness and Victims Section of the Court itself?

  • Yes, I received money, but that was just some amount of money, a small amount, and that was meant for transportation fare and food.

  • That's from the Prosecution. You've also received money, have you not, from the Witness and Victims Section of the Court?

  • Yes, I received money from them, but I'm still telling you that was meant for transportation cost and food.

  • And medical allowance and so on, medical treatment?

  • I don't recall that one.

  • Well, I'm not going to spend any great amount of time on it, but if I suggested to you that by Monday of this week you had received from the Witness and Victims Section alone nearly - close to 2 million leones since 25 June 2004 for attendance allowance, transportation, medical bills and miscellaneous other expenses you wouldn't dispute that, would you?

  • No, I wouldn't dispute that.

  • Thank you. Right, I want to move on now, please, to another issue. You gave an account - a full account to Prosecution investigators back in February of 2003 which this Court has a copy of and on that occasion do you agree that you never mentioned hearing any of the rebels speaking with Liberian accents? Would you agree with that?

  • No. I heard rebels talking as Liberians.

  • Now, I don't want to confuse you in any way. What I'm asking you about is not - at this stage I'm not asking you about what you saw or heard, I am simply trying to understand what you told the Prosecution at different stages when you've been seen by them. Do you follow?

  • Now, I have the statement in front of me, both the handwritten notes taken by the investigators at the time and the typed version of that, and the handwritten notes are signed by you in your own signature "S Bah" at the foot of each page?

  • And you gave a long account then of all the things that happened to you in January 1999, didn't you?

  • Yes, yes.

  • The first time you were seen?

  • Thank you. And there is nothing in that account about any of the rebels speaking with Liberian accents. Do you agree that you didn't say anything about rebels speaking with Liberian accents when you were first seen by the Prosecution in February 2003?

  • Does that mean yes, you agree?

  • Right. We now have yes, no and yes. Do you agree, Mr Bah, that in the first full account you gave to the Prosecution of everything that happened to you, everything you saw and heard in January of 1999 in Freetown, Kissy, that you never mentioned hearing rebels speaking with Liberian accents?

  • The first statement that was obtained from me when they came to my house, yes, I do remember that it was during the second occasion when they went to me that I recalled that I met with those men in the area where they were speaking Liberian language. They were in a white jeep.

  • When is it that you say you first told the Prosecution about these men in a white jeep speaking in the Liberian language?

  • Well, I can recall that that particular expression is in my story, that yes, I saw those people and they were speaking Liberian language.

  • Mr Bah, I don't want to confuse you in any way. May I make it clear I'm not asking you at the moment what you saw and heard. I'm asking you what you told the Prosecution you had seen and heard. Do you understand the difference? I'm not asking you about the story, I'm asking you about what parts of the story you told the Prosecution?

  • Yes. I told the Prosecution, the people who went to me, that I saw some Liberians as well who were speaking a Liberian language.

  • When did you first tell the Prosecution that particular fact?

  • If I suggested that the first time you ever mention it is late May this year, when this trial is already five months running, would you agree with that?

  • I don't want to - I think I might have confused you there. Mr Bah, if I suggest that the first time you ever tell the Prosecution anything about rebels speaking Liberian English is on 23 May this year would you agree with that?

  • All right. When do you say you told the Prosecution for the first time that you had heard rebels speaking Liberian?

  • I don't remember the date but I do know that I told them that, that I saw rebels and heard them talking a Liberian language.

  • When did you arrive in The Hague? How long ago?

  • I think it's about four or five days, thereabouts.

  • Have you seen anyone from the Prosecution in that time before you came into court to give your evidence yesterday?

  • Yes, I saw the lawyer, my lawyer. I saw that lawyer.

  • Which one is your lawyer?

  • Right. Is it Mr Bangura, the gentleman who was asking you questions before I got up to ask you questions?

  • And did Mr Bangura take you through all the different accounts that you have given to the Prosecution since February 2003 and indeed the evidence you gave in a court in Freetown in a previous trial?

  • And did he go through line by line all the various sets of interview notes and evidence that you'd given so as to help you remember what you'd said previously?

  • And so he will have gone through the account you gave on 23 May this year in which you mention Liberian speaking rebels in a white jeep. Is that right?

  • That, I suggest, is the first time you ever mention Liberian speaking rebels in any of the accounts that you gave to the Prosecution or indeed any of the evidence that you gave in the other trial in the Court in Freetown. Do you accept that?

  • No, I had said that long time ago.

  • Well, I'm not going to go through your first account because the Court has it. It's exhibit D-3, for the benefit of the Court and my learned friends. There's nothing in there, in February of 2003, about rebels speaking Liberian in a white jeep. Then you were seen again on 31 March 2004 and on that date you were seen by a lawyer called Paul Flynn. Do you remember being seen by Mr Flynn? Four and a half years ago now, but can you recall he came along and took you through your original statement of February 2003? Do you remember that?

  • Paul Flynn?

  • Yes, does that name ring any bells to you?

  • Well, I don't recall anymore.

  • All right. I'm going to ask Madam Court Officer if you'd just put this very short document on the screen:

  • Now, Mr Bah, I'm going to read it out and bear in mind again, please, that if I read out anything that's wrong from any of these documents somebody in court will correct me. This is a document from this Court and it's a document that's title is "Interview notes". You are the person being interviewed, the date is 31 March 2004, the location of the interview was at the Special Court in Freetown and the language used was English and the person who conducted the exercise with you was counsel Paul Flynn. That's to say a gentleman who was a lawyer with the Prosecution. And what it says here is:

    "The witness confirmed his previous statement" - that is to say the account you gave in February 2003 - "and did not wish to make any alterations or alterations" - again another typographical error that presumably means additions - "apart from pointing out that he found his wife alive."

    In other words, on 31 March 2004, a lawyer from the Prosecution took you through your original account and you made one alteration to it. Now, you didn't say to him then, "They've missed out the fact that I heard some of these rebels in a white jeep speaking in the Liberian language." Do you agree?

  • No, I don't agree because I told them right from the beginning. Maybe they made a mistake, but I explained to them that I saw two rebels that were Liberians.

  • Two rebels that were Liberians?

  • Well, those rebels were speaking a Liberian language. They were in a white jeep.

  • Two rebels in number?

  • Yes, they were two in the jeep.

  • Thank you. We'll move off from that document now, please. The next time you gave an account was in February of 2005. On two different dates in February 2005 you were seen by another lawyer from the Prosecution, a lady called Sharan Parmar. Can you remember Sharan Parmar?

  • Yes.

  • I think she later on was your lawyer in court, wasn't she, in the other case?

  • And in February 2005, on two separate dates, she took you through your account and you provided additional information including describing some of the rebels. Do you agree that you gave her some additional information in February 2005?

  • Describing what rebels were wearing --

  • The witness said yes and then no. Mr Interpreter, did you hear the "no"?

  • No, your Honours, he only said mmm.

  • Yes, but he shook his head. I saw it. Perhaps you can ask it again.

  • I'll deal with this inherently contradictory answer in that case, your Honour.

  • Before you do, Mr Munyard, Mr Witness, shaking your head and making grunting sounds is not answering a question in a proper manner. If you agree say yes, if you don't agree say no.

  • And Mr Bah, can I add to that you will be able to leave here more quickly if you just give a straightforward answer. Do you understand? We won't need to spend so much time finding out what you meant by an answer that contains both yes and no. Do you agree that you gave Ms Parmar more information by way of a description of some of the rebels that you had seen when she took further accounts from you in February of 2005?

  • And do you remember telling her something about different rebels that you came into contact with in January of 1999 including telling her that some of them were soldier men wearing trousers and boots. Can you remember telling her that?

  • Yes.

  • And talking about some of them having that kind of clothing on but most of them having combat uniform? Do you remember telling her that?

  • And you never mentioned anything on those two days in February 2005 about seeing two rebels in a jeep who were speaking the Liberian language. Do you agree?

  • So you told her in February of 2005, as well as having told investigators previously in 2003 and 2004, is that what you're saying now?

  • I told them that, yes.

  • Each time you were seen you told them that?

  • I used to tell them that. Really, I can recall. I did.

  • And do you understand that I am reading from documents that are an account of your interview that have been supplied to us by the people you see as your lawyers, they also have these documents, and if I'm putting something to you about them that is wrong they are duty bound to stand up and point out my error. Do you understand that, Mr Bah?

  • I understand that, but regarding the Liberian rebels I said that, and I know the area where I saw them.

  • And you didn't mention the Liberian rebels when you gave evidence in court in the previous trial, did you?

  • I mentioned everything that I know I had witnessed.

  • Right. Well, the Court has the transcript of that evidence and I'm not going to spend any more time on that. Now we move on then - I should just make it clear, Mr Bah, that you gave that evidence in April of 2005.

  • 2005? Well, it was according to the way the court officers were visiting me. It was within that same line that I gave them my statement. They did not just come like that.

  • Your Honours, the witness's answer is really confusing. Can he kindly repeat.

  • Mr Witness, the interpreter is having trouble understanding your clearly. Please repeat your answer.

  • The answer that I gave was that the court officers who used to come and obtain statements from me, there are times one of them would come and it would take a long time before another one would come, but I can remember I told them about the Liberian speakers.

  • Right. When you had given your evidence in that other case in 2005 did you think that that was going to be the end of your involvement with the Prosecution and with the Special Court, both of whom were financially assisting you and your family up to the point of that other trial?

  • The Court was helping me financially? The financial assistance they were giving to me was for transportation cost and food whenever they would invite me.

  • I don't think that answers your question, Mr Munyard.

  • I was just going to say - are you talking about the Prosecution there, that they would give you transport costs and food, the items we looked at yesterday, or are you talking about both the Prosecution and the Witness and Victims Section of the Court?

  • Well, these are two questions in one. That's why I responded that way.

  • All right. Well, I will try and break them down but I'm going back to the question I initially asked you: Did you think after you had given evidence in the other trial that that would be the end of your involvement with the Prosecution and the Special Court and that therefore the financial assistance you were getting from both would come to an end once you had given your evidence in 2005?

  • Well, yes, because I didn't believe that I had anything to do with them anymore.

  • But in fact, Mr Bah, you continued to be supported by the Special Court Witness and Victims Section and by the Prosecution after you'd given evidence in 2005, didn't you?

  • They did not continue supporting me, except when they would invite me. When they would invite me that would be the time they would give me transportation cost and food.

  • I wonder if Madam Court Officer would put this document on the screen, please:

  • Mr Bah, what this document is is it's a note from the Witness and Victims Section dated Monday of this week, 20 October 2008, and it sets out only in summary form all the money that the Witness and Victims Section have provided either for you or on your behalf and it reads as follows: "Witness first arrived on 25 June 2004. To date" - and that means to Monday of this week - "to date he has been paid a total of" --

  • I was not paid. I was not paid. They did not pay me.

  • Mr Bah, there may be a difference in meaning between what an English person asks you and your understanding of the word. Let me say that this is the word that the Witness and Victims Section have used. What it means is that this money has been provided; either given to you directly or provided on your behalf. That's all that the word "paid" means in this context. Do you understand?

  • Okay. Well, this money, that money, let me respond directly. Yes, they gave me money to assist my children but I was not paid. Let me make that clear to you.

  • All right. Witness attendance allowance, 776,000 leones; transportation, 75,000 leones; medical, this is medical expenses, 288,000 leones. Was that for medical treatment for you yourself or for members of your family or for both you and members of your family?

  • Yes, the medical treatment for me and my family.

  • And then miscellaneous, 675,200 leones. A grand total of 1,814,200. Now, that money has been either given to you directly or has been expended on behalf of you or your family since June of 2004 right up to the present week and that has been your sole source income over these four years, hasn't it? That plus whatever you've received from the Prosecution. Is that right?

  • Well, the money that you've mentioned here, I did not receive that in bulk, they gave that to me in bits. I accept that I received money from them, but I was not paid.

  • Thank you.

  • Nobody would be able to pay me for this particular problem that I have now.

  • Mr Bah, we all understand that.

  • Do you understand that, but what you are about to bring up, you are saying that I was paid, and I told you I was never paid.

  • Thank you, Madam Court Officer. That's all I need to do on that document.

  • Now, let me make it quite clear: I do not accept that you have ever before May of this year mentioned seeing rebels who spoke Liberian, do you understand? I am suggesting to you that this is a completely new fact that you have come out with in May of this year. And that is right, isn't it; that you've never said a word about Liberian speakers before May of this year?

  • I had said that before. Yes, before. I spoke about Liberian rebels and I keep repeating this to you, that I said it.

  • You were seen on 23 May this year by two investigators, Magnus Lamin - sorry, by two people, investigator Magnus Lamin and somebody called Thomas Lahun. Now you'd seen them before, had you?

  • Those were the first set of people that met me at my house.

  • Yes, one of them was, Thomas Lahun. The first people who met you at your house in 2003 were Joseph Saffa and Thomas Lahun?

  • In May of this year you meet with Magnus Lamin. Had you ever met him before?

  • Magnus Lamin? I met with him here. I met with him, yes.

  • And what was it that caused you to tell the Prosecution in May of this year for the first time ever, I suggest, that you heard rebels speaking Liberian English during the events of January 1999? What was it that led you to give them that particular little bit of information?

  • That information that I gave to them was because I witnessed it with my two eyes at the New Road - Shell petrol station was where I saw them.

  • And did it come about because you were asked, "Can you tell us anything else that you can remember about the rebels?" Or did it come about because somebody --

  • Hang on just a minute.

  • Mr Witness, you must let counsel finish his questions before you answer.

  • Or did it come about because somebody said to you words to the effect, "Did you hear any of the rebels speaking Liberian English?"

  • Nobody told me that. I was the one who told them what I witnessed.

  • Mr Witness, that is not the way counsel put the question. I'm going to ask counsel to put the question again. Listen carefully, please.

  • Did you give them this information about two rebels who spoke Liberian English simply because they asked you if there was anything else you could remember that you wanted to tell them, or did you tell them that because you were asked a question along the lines of, "Did you ever hear any rebels speaking Liberian English?

  • I told them. They did not ask me if I recalled anything else. I was the one who told them that I saw Liberian rebels. I can recall. In fact from the beginning I told them that - I told you that I said it.

  • In May of this year you tell them about these rebels on the jeep. Where was this jeep? Where was it when you saw it?

  • At the new road. The new road was where I saw them in a jeep, two of them at the petrol station. I was going straight towards the petrol station when I saw them. They were not far away from me when I heard them talking.

  • What were they doing at the petrol station?

  • Well, I just saw them come to the petrol station. They did not go there to buy any gas, they were just standing there.

  • They were just standing there. Do you mean they were standing in the road --

  • Or in the petrol station?

  • On the road. Like for example, look at the road this way and the petrol station is just by the road, they were standing there.

  • Let me see if I understand clearly what you're saying. That you saw them standing there. By that you mean they were standing in the road, either near the petrol station or at the petrol station. Is that what you're telling us?

  • They were standing near the petrol station.

  • Your Honours, can the witness clarify a word he has used. It could mean standing or it could mean that the car was parked.

  • Thank you, Mr Interpreter:

  • Which one is it: Were they standing themselves outside of the vehicle or are you saying that the vehicle was parked and they were in it? Which one is it?

  • They were in the vehicle.

  • And the vehicle is parked and what else is going on on New Road at this particular time?

  • At that particular time people were running up and down, but those two men were in that jeep.

  • And when you say "people were running up and down", do you mean that people were running away from rebels or do you mean that it was very busy?

  • People were afraid, so they were running up and down.

  • Afraid of what, Mr Bah?

  • They were afraid because most of the rebels had weapons with them.

  • Right. And so people were presumably doing their best to avoid coming anywhere near to these armed rebels, is that correct?

  • The same would apply to you, would it, that you also were anxious not to get too close to armed rebels, yes?

  • Yes.

  • And were you like everybody else, the civilians, running away or running as best you could to keep well away from these armed rebels?

  • Yes, I was running to go away from them, because the ones that were coming had weapons.

  • And were you with other people at the time?

  • At that time I was the only one walking. I was the only one. At that particular place where I saw the men I was the only one running, going away.

  • At this particular place you were the only one running and going away. Well, who were all these other people you were telling us about a minute ago, people running up and down?

  • I cannot tell you their names because I don't know their names.

  • My fault. I wasn't asking you for their names. A minute ago you've got a number of other people running up and down, now you've got just you running up and down. Which is it, Mr Bah?

  • When I moved away from those people we were - all of us were running, because I saw other people from behind them, they had weapons.

  • Right. And this vehicle is parked, what, in the petrol station, by the petrol station?

  • It was parked near the petrol station and when I was running away it was parked there.

  • And did you have to run past it to get to where you were going or were you running away from the direction it was parked or the place at which it was parked?

  • I was running to escape away from them, from those that were coming that had weapons.

  • And did that involve you running past this parked jeep?

  • Yes, I ran past, through the petrol station.

  • And how close did you get to this jeep?

  • Well, the jeep was parked like where - like at the end of the Court there and I was like here.

  • I'm not sure where you are saying is the end of the Court, Mr Witness. Please indicate clearly what you mean by the end of the Court.

  • Point, if you could, with your right hand.

  • Up there, like at the back of that man, the man sitting there.

  • The witness has indicated Mr Von Berg sitting at the back of the Court close to the security officer.

  • All right. So you say that you're about the distance you've just described which I suppose is about --

  • We can have it accurately measured.

  • Yes, I won't speculate. Thank you, Madam President.

  • Madam Court Officer, if you could please assist us by measuring the distance.

  • We'll measure that distance now.

  • Mr Munyard, we wanted to have this statement that you're cross-examining on in front of us, and I understand there is this one copy, the one that was marked for identification, and that's the one you have on your desk.

  • Thank you, Justice Sebutinde. I have to say I had assumed that when these documents were served on the Defence and on the Court that they're served on the Court in the usual way. In other words, that every member of the Court has a copy, because this is a statement that is in the annex to the Prosecution bundle.

  • That may be so but we are referring to the one that was marked for identification and that's a special one. Is that the one in your custody?

  • Yes, it's one of the documents that were marked for identification by my learned friend yesterday. Mine is marked to some extent by me on the side, so I can put a marked copy. It does have one or two comments on it. If my learned friend has a clean copy I'd be very grateful.

  • I'm afraid not. Your Honours, I did provide my learned friend with an extra copy yesterday. Actually, it was in the sense of providing him with a cover sheet, but in the process I actually handed over a whole copy and that wasn't marked.

  • You are quite right.

  • Your Honours, the distance is 600 centimetres.

  • I wonder, and this is relevant to the witness's statement, I wonder if anybody is able to translate that into yards.

  • Well, it's 20 feet.

  • Thank you. Your Honours, Mr Bangura did indeed give me copies of the two statements yesterday because I was missing, if you recall, the front identifying page which I in due course inserted into my bundle. What I did with the rest of his clean unmarked copies I don't know. I think they're probably in the bag behind me. That was the spare that he gave me. But I'm sure we can put onto the screen the relevant page of the statement of 23 May 2008 which was marked for identification yesterday.

  • Your Honours, my apologies. I had the wrong document initially but I believe I have given the Chamber the correct one.

  • Mr Munyard, I do apologise for having accused you of being in custody of an MFI.

  • No. In fact, your Honour, I hadn't understood you correctly so I wasn't in any way either embarrassed or offended.

  • Please proceed, Mr Munyard.

  • Now, Mr Bah, you were about 20 feet away from these people in this jeep. You're running as fast as you can, presumably, to get away from armed rebels coming along the road from your rear, yes?

  • Yes, I was running. I was running.

  • And other people, we know from your earlier evidence other people were doing the same as you; they were running away too, yes?

  • Yes.

  • And just help the Court with this: What was it that you heard these people in the jeep saying?

  • Well, what they were saying - you know, they were speaking Liberian English but I was not very - I was not as close to them as to understand what they were saying, but they were speaking Liberian English.

  • How is it that you know as you run past 20 feet away, how is it that you know what language they're speaking?

  • Well, they were talking above their voices. They were not talking in a low voice. They were talking above their voices.

  • Mr Interpreter, what does "talking above their voices" mean?

  • So they were shouting as you went past, yes?

  • And were they shouting at you or other people outside of their jeep?

  • They were shouting and I heard them. They were shouting. I heard them.

  • Yes, but were they shouting at you or other people on the street or were they shouting at each other?

  • No, they were just talking loudly generally to each other and the others, they were coming from the rear.

  • So they're talking to each other and to others coming from the rear. Where were these others coming from the rear? How close were they to the jeep with these two in it?

  • They were coming from across the road.

  • These other rebels, are they? These other people are rebels, are they?

  • The other people were civilians. They were running about to cross the road and the rebels were behind them coming.

  • No, I'm asking you about two people who you say are sitting in a jeep, stationary, parked, shouting in Liberian English. You have told us they were shouting - talking loudly to each other and the others who were coming from the rear.

  • Yes. Yes, that's what I told you.

  • So they weren't talking to each other, they were shouting to the people who were coming from the rear, were they?

  • They were talking and they were talking loudly, so I don't know whether they were shouting at the people who were coming or it was on me or the other area where I was, I don't know where they were shouting, but they were just shouting when the two of them were standing in the jeep.

  • Standing in the jeep? Were they standing up or sitting down?

  • They were standing while shouting.

  • Right. So it would not be right to say that these people were speaking Liberian English whilst conversing amongst themselves, would it?

  • No. It was Liberian English that they were speaking. I want to make that clearly to you, that it was Liberian English that they were speaking.

  • Forget about the language. It would not be right to describe these two people as simply conversing amongst themselves, would it?

  • They were conversing to each other, but loudly.

  • Shouting at each other?

  • Do you draw any distinction between conversing amongst themselves on the one hand and shouting at each other on the other hand?

  • Well, I only know that they were speaking Liberian language. I don't know the difference.

  • Mr Bah, in your mind is there a difference between people conversing amongst themselves and people shouting at each other?

  • Yes, I know the difference. If I am talking to somebody - for example, if we were talking and other people are talking to each other and they are shouting, there is a difference.

  • How was it that you knew that this was Liberian English that they were speaking?

  • That is simple. The way Liberians speak and the way other people speak, that is different. Even when we speak English, the British English and the American English are different.

  • How familiar were you with Liberian English as a language?

  • Liberian people used to come to Freetown. They used to come to Freetown and when they spoke we heard them. So the moment they spoke we would know that they had come from another country. So I think I've answered that question clearly now to you.

  • Are you saying that you were familiar with Liberian English?

  • Well, I can differentiate between Liberian English and Krio, so when I heard them speak Liberian English that's why I said so, and I think I have answered that question correctly.

  • Have you ever been to Liberia?

  • I did not go to Liberia, but I was in Freetown. Whenever they would come they would meet us there in Freetown.

  • And you were about 20 yards, not 20 feet, away from these people, weren't you?

  • Well, I wouldn't tell you the distance now, the exact distance from where they were parked and where I was.

  • Well, what distance did you tell the Prosecutors when you were giving them this piece of information for the first time in --

  • May of this year?

  • I did not mention any distance to them.

  • No, we did not talk about distance because they did not ask me any question relating to distance. I just made an example to them as to how far the vehicle was away from me. There was no tape to measure. It was here that you have brought a tape to measure the distance.

  • And did you tell the Prosecutors in May of this year that these two were shouting at each other?

  • I told them that they were talking to each other. They were shouting.

  • Right. And you are running away and so are other people running away from armed rebels, so it was presumably quite noisy in that street, New Road, Kissy, at this particular moment. Is that right?

  • Well, the ones that were running on the other end, they were shouting in Krio.

  • Who were they? Were they the rebels or the people running away from the rebels?

  • The people who were running away from them.

  • They were shouting in Krio and how far were they from you? You were presumably all running in the same direction to get away from these rebels, is that right?

  • They were running across the road and I was on the other end attempting to escape from those people, but I heard those ones speaking the Liberian language.

  • We'll go back to that. I'm just wanting to find out about the scene that you're describing. You and a number of other people are running away from rebels, correct?

  • Yes. All of us were running away. All of us were running but --

  • The rebels are behind you and the others who are running away from them, yes?

  • I came from the other end and the other people came from another end. They came from my left and I came from the right.

  • Mr Bah, help us, please. You would not be running into the rebels who were coming along, you would be running away from them, wouldn't you?

  • Well, all of us were now running - running to cross the road. I too was crossing to - running to cross the road to go up. And about this particular vehicle that I'm talking about, it was parked at the entrance, at the junction, entrance to the petrol station.

  • How far were you away from these other civilians who are trying to run away from the rebels who are advancing on them?

  • I have explained this to you several times to this man for him to understand. He has even used a tape to understand, but he is still bringing me back to where we were.

  • Mr Witness, answer the question, please. It is a different question and the question concerning the tape is not concerning the civilians. Please answer the question as put.

  • Yes, Mr Witness, will you please do me the favour of listening to the particular question I ask you. I have just asked you, for the first time I think, how far were you from these other civilians who like you are trying to run away from the advancing rebels?

  • Where I was was like where you are standing to where I am sitting here.

  • So I am where the other civilians are, who are also running away from the rebels, yes?

  • No, I have responded to that one. I said from the side that the others were, those who were running - coming and I, the place where the vehicle was standing, while the vehicle was parked I have responded to that. I was at the place, for example, where I am now and the other people were where, like where you are, they were running. But I cannot tell you the distance.

  • Why can't you tell us the distance that you were from the other people?

  • I couldn't estimate it.

  • Would you please try. Was it as far as you are from me or was it further than that?

  • You see, for me to say something, you know - and I know I cannot estimate it, I know it's not possible, no, I don't want to do that.

  • Mr Witness, you have given us an estimation based on the size of this courtroom. I suggest, subject to counsel, that you do that again. Mr Munyard, have you any objection to that procedure?

  • How far are you away from the other civilians who you say are shouting in Krio as they are running away from the advancing armed rebels that you also are running away from? Use the courtroom to give us an indication, if you wish.

  • Well, you see, when a crowd of people is running, some people would be close to you, some others would be far away from you. It was a crowd.

  • Give us the closest. Give us the distance of the closest.

  • The one who was close to me was just like where he, the lawyer, is standing and where I am sitting now, but all of us were going in different directions.

  • Right. So it was chaos, was it?

  • Yes, it was becoming chaotic because everybody was running away.

  • Yes, there was a lot of noise?

  • Those who were running, nobody was making any noise any more because everybody was running away.

  • But you've just been telling us they were shouting in Krio. Did you remember telling us that about ten minutes ago?

  • Yes, I remember that. I remember telling you that people were shouting but that - those who were from a far distance, not the ones that were close to me, because everybody was afraid. People were shouting, saying that: "Look at those people coming, they are coming. Let us leave this place. They are coming."

  • Does the word "pandemonium" translate into Krio, Mr Interpreter?

  • Yes, counsel, it can only be translated as confusion.

  • There was what I will call pandemonium in that street at that moment, wasn't there?

  • The confusion was only when people were running away to protect their lives.

  • Yes, we understand that, and that is exactly what that crowd of people - that crowd of civilians were doing with you as well at this particular moment. Correct?

  • I don't understand you, sir. Please ask the question again.

  • The confusion was because people were running away to protect their lives, including you. Correct?

  • And in the midst of all of this you claim that there are two rebels standing in a jeep, shouting at each other in Liberian English, something you managed to recall and register in the middle of this confusion. Is that what you want this Court to believe?

  • Did you tell the Prosecution, in late May this year, when you come out with this story for the first time ever about this confusion that was going on all around as you happened to overhear the Liberian English being spoken?

  • I told the Prosecution that I heard those Liberians speaking Liberian English. At that time I was running, going.

  • Mr Witness, that is not the question. Listen to the question again and answer the question. Please put the question again, Mr Munyard.

  • Did you tell the Prosecution, in late May this year, when you came out with this story for the first time ever about the confusion that was going on all around as you happened to overhear two rebels speaking Liberian English?

  • Well, let us look then at the account that they have recorded and that you have put your signature, you initials to at the bottom of each page. Now, I'm going to read out the paragraph in your statement of 23 May this year where you come up with this account, what I suggest for the first time ever, and you just tell me if this is what you think you told the Prosecutors in May of this year:

    "Witness states the only language heard being" - I will just make sure I'm reading exactly what was written down. Yes.

    "Witness states the only language heard being spoken by the perpetrators was Krio language. Although heard some also speaking Temne, Mende, Loko which are mainly Sierra Leone native languages. Witness states that before he encountered Akim's group who amputated his hand he had earlier seen an off-white open jeep on board which were people believed to be Liberians patrolling along New Road, Kissy."

    Did you tell the Prosecutors that the vehicle was parked by the garage or did you tell them that it was patrolling along New Road, Kissy?

  • I did not tell them that the vehicle was patrolling. The vehicle was parked.

  • Right. "These people were speaking Liberian English whilst conversing among themselves." Did you tell the Prosecutors that?

  • I told the Prosecution that, that they were speaking Liberian English, yes.

  • I'm going to try again: "These people were speaking Liberian English whilst conversing among themselves." Did you tell them that they were speaking Liberian English whilst conversing amongst themselves?

  • Yes.

  • Or shouting at each other?

  • I told them that I heard them speak Liberian English and they were shouting. I told them that.

  • You see, you did tell this Court, not half an hour ago, that you draw a distinction between people conversing amongst themselves and people shouting at each other. Do you remember telling us that you drew that distinction? Do you remember that, Mr Bah, that piece of evidence you gave us?

  • Your Honours, the witness's answer is inaudible.

  • Mr Witness, please repeat your answer and speak more loudly to allow the interpreters to hear.

  • I do recall saying that, yes, that people were running and talking, but I still recall that the Liberian people - two of them were in the jeep.

  • Mr Witness, that wasn't the question. I'm going to try it one last time and then I'm going to move on. Do you remember saying to these judges in the last half hour that you draw a distinction between people conversing among themselves and people shouting at each other? Do you remember telling us --

  • -- that you draw a distinction?

  • Which one of those two different things do you think you told the Prosecution in May of this year when you come up with this Liberian English story?

  • I told them that, yes, these people were in a jeep shouting in a Liberian language. I told them that.

  • Shouting. All right. "The witness was born and brought up in Freetown. Witness speaks Fullah, Krio and can understand and speaks a bit of English." Did you tell them that?

  • Yes, I told them that I can speak Fullah, Krio and a bit of English.

  • "Witness has travelled to The Gambia, Senegal and Guinea." Did you tell them that?

  • "Witness previously before the war entered Freetown heard Liberian refugees from Liberia speaking to themselves in Freetown." Did you tell them that?

  • So in other words, you'd never ever had a conversation with someone in Liberian English, had you?

  • "Witness states that their language is similar to broken English." Did you tell them that?

  • Yes, I told them that the English they were speaking was --

  • Your Honours, the witness's answer is incomplete.

  • Mr Witness, before you have another go at that, this is something in general terms. We're not at this stage talking about what you claim to have overheard. Do you agree that the Prosecutors have correctly recorded in this statement you telling them that their language, that's Liberian refugees' language, is similar to broken English? Did you tell them that?

  • I told them that those people, the English which they spoke, was mixed up. The refugees, yes, I told them that.

  • So they have correctly recorded that. Then we go on, next sentence: "The Liberians witness heard speaking were strangers not known to him." Did you tell them that?

  • Yes.

  • "Witness states that they were not speaking to him directly, but heard the accent." Did you tell them that?

  • "They were about 20 yards off from him." Did you tell them that?

  • So not 20 feet, but 20 yards.

  • Well, you see, all of these things that I am talking, I never mentioned anything - I never said anything about distance, no. It is not in my statement.

  • You never mentioned anything about distance when you were telling the Prosecution about this in May. Is that what you're saying? You're not going to be helped by looking to the Prosecution lawyers, Mr Bah. Just look directly at the judges?

  • No, no, no, no, no. No, you say that if somebody is sitting here he should not turn rightwards? So let me know that so I'll be able to guide myself.

  • Concentrate on my questions and when you answer them try and answer them directly across the courtroom to the learned judges. "They were about 20 yards off from him" --

  • Mr Bah, what is so funny?

  • No, nothing is funny. Nothing is funny. It's not funny.

  • Just listen to this, please, and tell me if you think that the Prosecution have correctly or incorrectly recorded what you told them in May. "They were about 20 yards off from him. There were no other noises except the voices which witness heard."

  • What about all this shouting and confusion and people running for their lives?

  • It was not the refugees. The refugees were not running away. The refugees were not running.

  • Are you saying that this particular passage that we are looking at relates to your previous experience of overhearing Liberian refugees speaking their language, or are you saying that this passage is describing the events in Freetown in January 1999 when you claim to hear Liberians shouting at each other in a jeep? I don't want to be in any way unfair to you. Are you saying that this part of the account, you being 20 yards off from people, is your experience of overhearing Liberian English on other occasions or another occasion?

  • Well, the way the people spoke their language, you know, whenever you hear somebody speaking a strange language you will know that this language is a strange language. And wherever you are, when you hear somebody speaking a language that does not belong to that country, you know that this person is a foreigner.

  • Mr Munyard, the witness said something I would like him to clarify. He says it was not the refugees. The refugees were not running away. They were not running. Mr Witness, are you saying that the Liberians you saw in this open jeep were refugees?

  • No, no. The refugees were different from those two people that were in the jeep. The refugees were not even around that area.

  • So which refugees were you referring to that didn't run away?

  • Well, the refugees whom I was referring to were not even close to those rebels. They were not close to those rebels.

  • Justice Sebutinde, to be fair to the witness the way this account has been recorded is less than clear as to which experience he's talking about here, and that's what I'm trying to clarify:

  • Mr Bah, we have an account here that's been written down by Prosecution investigators who took your story in May of this year, and indeed it was read back to you and you put your initials at the bottom of each page. What I want to try and do is to find out what this particular passage that we're now looking at relates to. In this statement you describe seeing two people, sorry, not two people, just people believed to be Liberians patrolling along New Road, Kissy, and conversing amongst themselves. You then go on to describe your experience - sorry, the languages you can speak and your experience of hearing Liberian refugees in Freetown before the war entered Freetown speaking to themselves, and you say their language is similar to broken English. The passage I'm now dealing with immediately follows that and it says:

    "The Liberians witness heard speaking were strangers not known to him. Witness states they were not speaking to him directly but heard the accent. They were about 20 yards off from him. There were no other noises except the voices which witness heard. Witness has no other information besides the way they talk because they too are Africans."

    Now, in those sentences there are you describing the people in the jeep on New Road, Kissy?

  • The people in the jeep, they were not refugees. They were not. They were just two in number. The refugees that you are referring to, they were walking, talking to each other. They were not talking to me directly. But if you overhear somebody talking, and that person is from a different country, you would know that this person is a foreigner. And the person with whom you are from the same country you would know that this person belongs to this country.

  • Mr Bah, just listen to these sentences and tell me who it is you're talking about, if you agree that the Prosecution have correctly recorded what you said here:

    "The Liberians witness heard speaking were strangers not known to him. Witness" - that's you - "states they were not speaking to him directly, but heard the accent. They were about 20 yards off from him. There were no other voices except the voices which witness heard."

    Who are you talking about in those sentences?

  • The refugees were going along. They had passed gone even before I met those men in the jeep. The ones that I had met before.

  • So these sentences are meant to describe your previous experience of overhearing Liberian English, yes? Don't worry about who's going in and out of the door. Just try and listen to the question. These sentences we've just read out, that's your account of your experience of Liberian English previously, is it?

  • It is the experience that I got from the language they were speaking, yes, because if somebody is talking you must pay some attention to know what they're talking.

  • Let me try one last time. What we have just discussed, is that you telling the Prosecution how you know Liberian English or is that you telling the Prosecution about the people in the jeep and how close you were to them?

  • I am trying to explain about the people who were close to the jeep, what they were talking, the shouting. I have explained that. But now you're talking about refugees and the refugee thing they were coming along, at that time I had not even been where the rebels were and I believe what I explained was the exact thing that I explained in the statement.

  • I think we're in the same difficulty here as we were with Rule 16; which part relates back to which earlier part. I'm going to have one last attempt:

  • Mr Witness, on the occasion when you told the Prosecution about hearing people speaking Liberian in a jeep on New Road, Kissy, did you mean --

  • Yes.

  • -- to tell them then that those people were about 20 yards off from you?

  • I don't recall, but I know that I told them that, yes, but I did not tell them any distance.

  • Or were you telling them that your experience previously of hearing the Liberian language spoken was that on one occasion there were people speaking to themselves, that's amongst themselves I presume, who were strangers that you didn't know and you passed by about 20 yards off from him, it says. Sorry, off from them.

  • I would like you to ask that question again. You, the Krio speaker. I would like you to ask the question again.

  • All right. Well, I will try it again in English, if I may:

  • Is your experience of hearing Liberian English spoken previous to the occasion that we're discussing in New Road, Kissy, is it that on one occasion you heard Liberians speaking amongst themselves about 20 yards away from you --

  • No, it was not only once.

  • But I keep reminding you that if somebody is from a foreign country and if he speaks you would definitely know that this person is coming from a different country. Like now when you're talking, you're speaking English. If somebody comes from some other country and speaks another language you would know. So thank you in that area.

  • Was it made clear to you, when you gave this account in May this year, that this would be of assistance to the Prosecution if you could mention rebels speaking in the Liberian language?

  • I just explained to them what I had seen and what I heard.

  • Was it made clear to you that this would be of assistance to the Prosecution if you could mention rebels speaking in the Liberian language? Was that made plain to you, that it would help if you could throw in a bit of Liberian language into your account of January 1999?

  • No, it was what I witnessed that I told them. What I saw is what I told them. Okay.

  • And if I am right, that there is no earlier record of you ever having told the Prosecution about hearing rebels speaking or shouting Liberian English at each other, then this must be the first time you've ever mentioned it to the Prosecution, mustn't it, May of this year?

  • I told them earlier on. Maybe the mistake is from them, but I told them earlier on.

  • I fear we run the risk of going around in circles, and I am going to ask no more questions, thank you.

  • Thank you, Mr Munyard. Mr Bangura, re-examination?

  • Thank you, your Honour. Just a couple of questions.

  • Mr Witness, just a few moments ago you were asked by counsel about your previous experience with the Liberian language. How many times do you recall having previously heard the Liberian language spoken before this occasion that you are describing in the statement that we're dealing with?

  • And when were those occasions?

  • The refugees, we - they were going and we met each other. That is different from the two men in the jeep, the jeep that was parked at the petrol station. The refugees were walking, talking to each other. Yes, sir, that happened twice. Those were going their own way. It was not at the same time that I saw the people in the jeep. I think I made that clear to them.

  • When you say it was not at the same time, are you talking of the same date or a different date?

  • The refugees, that is a different date. I don't know if that is indicated in the document, but that was a different date that I saw them. It was not on the same day that when those people were running away.

  • And was it long time before that date, the date that people were running away? Was it a long time before that when you saw these refugees --

  • A non-leading question, please. How long was it --

  • It did not take that long.

  • The witness has given an answer.

  • Your Honours, that will be all for the witness. No further questions.

  • Mr Witness, I wish to ask again - I wish to understand your statement that you gave regarding these Liberian speaking people that you saw in the jeep. When you saw these people was this before your amputation or after you were amputated?

  • No, it was before I was amputated, that was when I saw them. It was not at the time that I was amputated. It was before then.

  • How much time before, like a few weeks, a few days, a few months before?

  • And in your statement it is recorded that when you saw these people in the jeep you believed them to be patrolling along New Road, Kissy. Why did you believe them to be patrolling or on what do you base your belief that they were patrolling New Road, Kissy?

  • Well, the way I saw the jeep parked, I believed that they must have been on patrol, but at that time they were parked.

  • Why did you believe that they were patrolling? What was it about them that made you believe they were patrolling?

  • Because they were by the main road, they were parked there, and if somebody is parked by the main road that will show that this person is about to move.

  • Yes, but why do you say they were patrolling? What do you mean by patrolling?

  • Well, what I meant by patrol, that that person was about to go.

  • So you mean these men were actually on their own business, going about their business?

  • They were - yes, because I did not see - I saw them talking to each other, they were whatever, but I don't think --

  • You don't think what?

  • What I meant by patrol, you know the part of the road where they were parked, that would indicate that they were about to move, to go their way. That was why I said patrol.

  • So in other words, from the statement it's quite possible that these men were actually - they had parked their car by the petrol station and were simply going on their way away from the petrol station, yes?

  • No. The area where they were parked, they were on the main road, that was where they were parked. You know, if somebody is parked and wants to be there for a long time they would park away from the main road, but they were parked right on the main road.

  • Well, let me ask you bluntly: Were these Liberian speaking people in your view part of Akim's group or not?

  • No, they were not with Akim. They were not with Akim. And I cannot tell the Court now that they were with Akim because at that area where they were they were not with Akim. Not at all.

  • Do you know if they were with any group that you were aware of?

  • No.

  • I do in fact have questions, if I may.

  • At page 33 on my font, line 23, Mr Witness, when I asked you did you tell the Prosecutors that the vehicle was parked by the garage or did you tell them it was patrolling along New Road, Kissy, your answer was "I did not tell them that the vehicle was patrolling." Justice Sebutinde has just been asking you some questions about why you thought the vehicle was patrolling, but you told us earlier that you never told the Prosecution that the vehicle was patrolling. Which version is it, that you did tell them it was patrolling or that you didn't?

  • Earlier on I told you that the vehicle was parked at the petrol station on the main road. That's what I've said. I don't think I went further than that.

  • So you never told the Prosecution that the vehicle was patrolling?

  • I don't recall any more.

  • Well, earlier you said, "I did not tell them the vehicle was patrolling". Are you saying, "I definitely didn't tell them" or "I now can't remember what I told them"?

  • I told them that the vehicle was parked. I can recall that.

  • And you told them, did you, that the vehicle was parked by the garage?

  • By the garage. It was by the petrol station that the vehicle was parked. The vehicle itself was by --

  • It's an English slip of the tongue there:

  • You told them, did you, that the vehicle was parked by the petrol station or gas station, yes?

  • Yes, I told them that the vehicle was parked on the main road by the petrol station.

  • Thank you. When the statement was read back to you why didn't you point out to them that you had never said it was patrolling and that you had said that it was parked by the petrol station but they don't appear to have put that in your account?

  • Well, mistakes can occur everywhere. Maybe the mistake was made by me or by them.

  • Thank you, your Honour. Your Honour, there's no further questions for the witness.

  • Your Honour, the Prosecution did invite the Court to mark some documents for identification.

  • Yes, and I have a very helpful list supplied by Madam Court Officer here before me.

  • Yes, your Honour. I wish to apply to move those documents, that those documents be admitted as exhibits.

  • That's MFI-1, MFI-5 and MFI-6?

  • Correct, your Honour.

  • Mr Munyard, the group MFI-1, MFI-5 and MFI-6 have been moved together. Do you wish to deal with them one by one?

  • I can deal with them collectively. There's no objection to any of them.

  • Thank you.

  • Your Honour, further, that the pages 20627 and 20632, that is of MFI-6, be kept confidentially.

  • Let me get those down. 20627 --

  • Why is that, before I invite a response?

  • Your Honour, these two pages are cover sheets actually containing personal information about the witness and they go much more detailed than what has come out in evidence from the witness's own mouth, and the Prosecution's view is that these details would have the effect of revealing a lot more about the witness. Granted that the witness is testifying openly and did make that choice but, your Honour, the information we have on those pages go far more than what normally would be adduced in court for a witness testifying openly.

    If your Honours wish, I can just point out some of the facts contained there which we think go too deeply into the witness's background; father's name, mother's name, current address. Address at the time of the conflict, we have that in open evidence, granted. I believe those are - they go much more deeply than normally what would be adduced in court in respect of witnesses who are testifying openly.

    Your Honours, we do not think that asking that this piece of information be kept confidentially is inconsistent with the fact that he has given the Court some personal details openly.

  • Mr Bangura, you're still not telling the judges why you want it confidentially. We understand that it goes deeper and that it concerns his personal details, but you haven't told us what is wrong with that.

  • Your Honour, the position is that the witness did, before testifying, say that he wished to testify openly, but that was not in itself a situation where every bit of detail about himself has to come in the open and the witness did in fact express some concern about security. It's just that he agreed to testify openly before this Chamber and to that extent we consider that some information about him, which may go to identify him, should be kept confidential.

    And, your Honours, I just need to point out that in his previous testimony in the other trial, even though it was noted that he testified openly, but what we have as open testimony in that trial is slightly different from what we have before this Chamber. In that case his name - he testified with a pseudonym and behind a screen even though it is described as an open testimony and in that regard certain aspects of his identity were kept confidential.

  • Mr Munyard, you have heard this secondary application.

  • Well, your Honours will recall that I chose not to read out the name of the witness's wife and mother. I simply established from him they both had identical names. I did that because I had obvious concerns about the accuracy of the information here. But as we go down the list, and I won't read out what hasn't been read out so far, we have his family name and his first name already established; we have his father's, his mother's and his wife's names, not so far established; his place and date of birth already established; the age written on this form that was drafted last year, as I understand it, is given as 52. I don't know who is responsible for the mathematics but clearly it's wrong. His sex is noted; his nationality; his ethnic origin; his religion; his current and his conflict occupation are all established. Telephone says nil, so that's of no interest. His current address is given, that's not been established, but his conflict address has been established. Civil status married, that's been established. Languages spoken Fullah, Krio and a little English, that's been established. Alternate contact, direct contact, that's irrelevant and then the final two entries nil. So the only things that we haven't had in open court already are the names of his parents and his wife and his current address.

    Now, it's a matter for the Court, in my view, if you think that for some reason it would be proper not to have the three people's names on the record, although frankly I can't see how that could be of any help to anybody because the witness's own name and location and date of birth are far more relevant to anyone who might want to enquire about him than his mother's and father's first names, and again it's a matter for the Court if you think that for some reason his current address should not be made public. I don't have a strong view one way or the other, but of course in open court it would have been permissible for me to ask for those details. I chose not to as a matter of discretion. I don't see why somebody's mother alive or dead, that their name needs to be read out if the only purpose of me looking at it was to check the accuracy of what had been recorded. But that's a different matter from should this be confidential. I can't see his mother's first name being a matter of confidentiality.

  • I don't recall it being adduced in evidence whether his parents were alive or --

  • No, that was me saying we don't know.

  • It did occur to me also, Mr Munyard.

  • Yes. But I leave it to the Court. I can't see that there's anything in that information that is going to be of great assistance to anybody who shouldn't have it.

  • Mr Witness, have you heard all that has been said just now between the lawyers and the judges?

  • The Court has been given a sheet of paper which has some details. It's called a "Witness ID Form". I think you may have already seen it.

  • Is there anything on that form that you would not want the public to hear or know of?

  • Yes, because I want to protect my life. That's why I said I don't want anything here - you know, that I would want the Court to protect my life, I and my family.

  • I'm asking you specifically what is on this form, because we've heard much evidence about you and - Mr Witness, is your mother alive?

  • No, my mother is dead. She died July this year.

  • God rest her. Is your father alive?

  • Madam President, would it help if I made it clear that we don't require a witness's current address to be given in evidence in England unless it's relevant to one of the issues that the Court is to determine. In those circumstances I would adopt the practice of the English courts here, that unless the current address is of relevance to the issues the Court is deciding then there's no need for it to be given, and I've taken Mr Taylor's instructions on that and he's quite content for the witness's current address not to be disclosed to the public.

  • But the statement is already pending admission in its currents form.

  • Justice Sebutinde, that is why I've said it's a matter for the Court. I am simply putting forward our view.

  • If I understand my learned friend rightly, the application before the Court is for this document to be kept confidentially. If I understand him rightly, the address of the witness is information which they do not think should come out before the Court unless it's needed. Does that mean then that the document can be kept confidential because the address is on it, or does it mean that we can have a redaction of that information or information which need not come out openly and leave the document in for public consumption?

  • My understanding is that there is consent to one aspect only and that is the current address.

  • Correct.

  • Yes, your Honour, but it forms part of the document that is before the Chamber.

  • So you want to redact that?

  • Your Honour, we are bound by it, subject to your ruling on the point, but our preference would be to have the whole document kept confidentially.

  • Well, aren't we still waiting to hear from the witness? The Presiding Judge asked the witness is there anything on that form that you would not want the public to hear or know of, and then explained later that - the Presiding Judge explained to this witness that he was being asked specifically about anything on that form. Now we still don't have any answer to that.

  • Mr Witness, can you read English?

  • Now is there anything on that form - any detail on that piece of paper in front of you that you would not wish the public to know?

  • Your Honour, if I may be heard, the witness has indicated that he doesn't - he cannot read English and I'm not sure whether he's able to --

  • Perhaps he can bring it back. We can take him through. The Presiding Judge can take him through each detail.

  • Mr Witness, what I'm going to do now is to go through the - just what is the type of information that is here. Your family name, your first name, have you any problem with those? You've already told us those things in open court. Do you agree?

  • Well, I didn't want that to happen because the first time that I appeared in court in Freetown, my name was not called out but here you asked me to do that and I did that, but I risked my life.

  • Then we have your father's name, your mother's name and your wife's name. Have you any trouble with those being public?

  • I don't want my family's name to be in the public for my security and theirs.

  • Then there is your place of birth, your date of birth, your age and whether you're a man or a woman and you've told us all of those things, haven't you?

  • Yes, I told the Court that because the Court asked that I do it, but it was not anything that I wished to be done.

  • Then it's your ethnic origin, your religion and you've also told us those things, we know those things.

  • Then there is your previous occupation and your present occupation, you've also told us those things.

  • Yes, my previous occupation I told you.

  • Then there is where you are presently living. What is your attitude to that?

  • My current address, I wouldn't want that to be made known to the public because for my security and that of the security of my family and I've told this to the Court many times because I want protection from the Court because I know what I'm talking about and whatever happens to me, if that is risking my security, that would be the responsibility of the Court.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness. We're clear on that point. Then where you were living at the time you met this trouble, you've told us that. Whether you were married or not married, you have told us that. What languages you spoke, you've told us that. And that is all. Do you understand those things?

  • Thank you. I just have been alerted to the fact that I think we're out of time. Counsel and the parties have heard what's been said and in the light of that - we've got one minute. In that case I will therefore admit as follows: MFI-1, a transcript as already described, becomes Prosecution exhibit P-207.

  • [Exhibit P-207 admitted]

    Then the witness statement that was an exhibit in a previous hearing, MFI-5, becomes Prosecution exhibit P-208.

  • [Exhibit P-208 admitted]

    Then the MFI-6 contains inter alia the ID form that I have gone through with the witness, and it will be admitted subject to redaction of the following: The witness's current address.

  • Your Honour, time is running out. We have very few seconds left on the tape.

  • The MFI-6 as recited previously subject to the witness ID form being confidential. It is confidential in the light of the evidence adduced directly from the witness to do with his security and those documents as a bundle become Prosecution exhibit P-209.

  • [Exhibit P-209 admitted]

    If there are no other matters I will discharge the witness, release the witness, sorry. Mr Witness, that is the end of your evidence here in court today and we thank you for coming to court and giving your evidence and we wish you a safe journey home. Thank you. Yes, Mr Witness?

  • The tape has run out.

  • Yes, Mr Witness, proceed.

  • I would just like to remind the Court that they know everything that I have come here to do and we know the problems that we've gone through, and if somebody has gone through such a thing and you come to an open place like this to talk, I would like the Court to protect me and my family because if anything happens to me that would endanger my life and my family's that would be the responsibility of the Court, because I have come here and staked a lot to the public, but whatever would be the consequence I would like the Court to know that they would be responsible because I wouldn't want to suffer twice.

    So I thank you very much, the judges, the lawyers and the man and even my own lawyer, I would like to thank everybody and I also want to tell the Court that all of us who have been amputated, we are no longer useful in life. It's only God who is protecting us. We've lost a lot of things and I would like to appeal to the Court to tell us how they should guide us, the country, that such a thing will not be repeated in the country any more.

    Now I am talking on behalf of the others who were also amputated and going over those terrific experiences, it's not anything anybody would want to do. You know, we know what we went through, how horrible they were, and coming back to say - repeat them to relive those things is not anything simple. So now I am asking that my family and my family's security and I are in your hands. I thank you very much. That is all that I have to tell you. Thank you very much.

  • Thank you, Mr Witness for reminding us of these matters, and I will ask our Court Officer to speak to court witness and victims support unit to advise you. We thank you. Please adjourn court until 12.05.

  • [Break taken at 11.35 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 12.05 p.m.]

  • Mr Anyah, I see you have been abandoned by one of your colleagues.

  • Yes, Madam President. Good morning, your Honours. Well, good afternoon, your Honours, good afternoon, Madam President. Mr Munyard is not present. I suspect it has to do with the slight modification of the time during which we had to return, but I have carriage of the next witness for the Defence, and so we are prepared to proceed.

  • Thank you. Just before we come to the next witness, Ms Baly, who I presume you are going to be leading in evidence, yes. Incidentally, I notice a change on your bar as well.

  • Yes, Mr Bangura has left the Prosecution.

  • Thank you, Ms Baly. Madam Court Officer has properly pointed out to me that if the bundle which is now P-209 is put in under one Prosecution exhibit number, and part of it will be confidential, there could be a problem in separating the confidential and the public and in order to alleviate that problem it is our understanding that the part that the Prosecution has requested and we have granted to be confidential is the witness ID form. However, there are two witness ID forms. One is 20627 and the other --

  • I believe the second one ends in 20632.

  • Thank you, Ms Hollis. That's most helpful. We will therefore have the two supplementary statements as Prosecution exhibit 209A, and the two IDs forms, that's pages 20627 and 20632 as Prosecution exhibit 209B, and I trust that will alleviate any problem.

  • [Exhibit P-209A and P-209B admitted]

    Ms Baly, if you would please proceed.

  • The next witness, your Honours, is TF1-098. The witness will testify in the Krio language. The witness is a 92 bis witness by your Honours' order of yesterday. The witness has indicated that he is prepared to testify in open session. We do make application to rescind protective measures, being the use of a screen while he testifies and the use of a pseudonym while he testifies, which we - to the extent that your Honours find the witness is protected we make that application to rescind those two measures. However, your Honour, we do note that this witness was a Category 1 witness in the decision of 4 July 2004. He was not one of the witnesses who was listed in any of the annexures.

  • Mr Munyard, I note your appearance. Mr Anyah, you have heard - sorry, Ms Baly, had you completed your application?

  • That decision, you meant 5 July, didn't you, 2004?

  • Mr Anyah, you've heard the application.

  • Yes, I have, Madam President. As has been our position with such applications, in principle we have no objection to the application for recission. We do stand by our previous position in respect of this particular category of witnesses that are not specifically enumerated in the decision of 5 July 2004.

  • We reiterate, as we have done on previous occasions, that in the light of our previous ruling the application is in fact redundant. However, for reasons of record and to ensure clarity, we note that the witness is giving - intending to give evidence in open session without use of a screen or a pseudonym. We note also that this is a Rule 92 bis witness.

  • Madam President, if it please your Honours. Before the witness is brought in there is a slight issue I wish to raise by way of reminder. I do it hesitantly but I think it is appropriate to do so at this point.

    When the fourth witness in the trial testified, I believe it was on 14 January 2008, that witness's TF1 number is 114, the witness testified in open session. The witness's name is Dennis Koker. I made an application to your Honours pursuant to Rule 15 asking that your Honours disqualify yourselves from entertaining that witness's evidence. I did ask for a copy of that transcript to be printed, and I don't wish to go over it except to say that when I made that application the basis upon which it was made was that the witness had previously given evidence before your Honours during the AFRC trial and that your Honours had found that witness, in your AFRC judgment, to have been credible.

    The witness that is coming before your Honours we maintain falls in the same category as someone that has previously been heard by your Honours, as someone that has previously been found, expressly in your judgment, to have been credible with the only distinction between both being this: This is a 92 bis witness and the former witness was a regular crime base witness who appeared and gave evidence both in chief and under cross-examination. This witness is coming before your Honours for only cross-examination purposes.

    At the time I made my application your Honour Justice Sebutinde, who was presiding then, and his Honour Justice Lussick made inquiries of me in the sense that it was important for them at that time to know whether or not we maintained the position that the witness Dennis Koker was coming to give identical evidence to what he gave during the AFRC trial and the relevant portions of that exchange and the transcript - it was an open session transcript from 14 January 2008 - the relevant pages are pages 1214 through 1217, and I will just read a little bit of the exchanges we had. I maintained, on page 1215 at line 3, I said:

    "In closing, I would just say for the record we would make a recurring application in respect of any other prospective witness who has been found to be credible having testified before in the AFRC case and who does appear before this Chamber to testify in this case. Thank you, Madam President."

    Then his Honour Justice Lussick, on the same page at line 23 said: "And one other thing, Ms Hollis, we have no idea whatsoever what testimony this witness is about to give in this case."

    Then over to the next page the Presiding Judge, her Honour Justice Sebutinde, on page 1216 said at line 12:

    "Mr Anyah, I want you by way of reply to shed some light on whether in your knowledge this witness is coming to replicate his testimony in the AFRC trial or not. We need to know because, as my brother said here, we have no clue what this witness is coming to testify to, but perhaps you know better. Is he coming to repeat his testimony in the AFRC case?"

    That's the background of this observation. It is simply to reinforce our continuing objection. Your Honours have ruled, and we of course accept that ruling. We do feel there are slight nuanced change in circumstances between the two witnesses, but I register an objection again in principle in no way suggesting that any of your Honours are predisposed unfavourably to questions we may pose during cross-examination.

    And just to perfect my observation and the record, the parts of the AFRC trial that your Honours relied on this witness's evidence for, the express finding of credibility is to be found in paragraph 1228 on page 346. Your Honours relied on the witness's evidence in paragraph 347 on pages 280 and 281 and again in paragraph 1233 on page 348. Thank you, your Honours.

  • Response, Ms Baly?

  • No sufficient basis has been put before the Court for your Honours to disqualify yourselves from hearing this witness's evidence. Your Honour made a decision - your Honours made a decision in the previous case when the witness testified. You will make a decision about the witness's testimony in this case when you hear his testimony in this case. You are professional judges of course and you're able to make professional decisions without any bias, in our submission.

    One distinction that should be made is that on the previous occasion when this witness testified before your Honours, for a number of reasons he was never cross-examined, and your Honours did make a finding that he had not been challenged. In this case he is about to be cross-examined and that is a relevant distinction, in our view. And in any event your Honours will draw your own conclusions and apply yourselves as professional judges and there has been nothing shown of sufficient merit that would entitle the accused to have your Honours disqualify yourselves.

  • Thank you, Ms Baly.

    Mr Anyah, we wish to be clear on what exactly you are seeking from the Bench.

  • Thank you, Madam President. I am not at this time making a new application for disqualification. I am merely perfecting the record as counsel is obligated to do. We made an objection in a trial that has lasted now 10 months. We made the objection on 14 January. That objection was ruled on. Similar facts and circumstances have arisen. We do feel that there are factual differences and procedural differences between the two but in sum and substance they implicate the same primary issue, so we just need to make clear that despite the slight change in circumstances, for example this witness was not cross-examined during the AFRC trial, as properly pointed out by learned counsel opposite, we still maintain the same position in respect of this witness as we do with any other witness that comes before your Honours where there has been an express finding of credibility in the AFRC trial.

    I will just point out what is the primary basis for our objection which is: In this particular case the evidence is identical. It is the same. So the accused might be different, but the import of this witness's testimony, if I were to ask only one question on cross-examination, that entire transcript has been, in our view, found credible by your Honours and that's what they are seeking to have admitted.

    So I just reiterate our objection and I don't in any way wish to suggest that your Honours are in any way predisposed against us vis-a-vis the questions we may ask on cross-examination and how you would consider those questions and the responses given.

  • With your permission, Madam President, Mr Anyah, speaking for myself, and I'm not speaking for my colleagues but they might agree with what I have to say, when a chamber makes a finding that a witness is credible, in other words believable, it's not done in the air. It's done in particular circumstances.

    Now the particular circumstances of this particular finding in the AFRC case were such that this witness had given us a set of circumstances, alluding to certain events that happened which events were never cross-examined, and those are the circumstances in which we found him credible and we believed his story relating to those circumstances.

    We now have a different set of circumstances with this witness coming, wanting to adopt part of his prior testimony, but us having realised that we need to hear, as it were, him being different accused person. Now the story may completely change after that. I don't see how you can then say: Oh, the judges' minds are fixed because of a finding that they made in a prior trial where this particular witness was never cross-examined. Really I don't see how - I don't feel bound at all by my prior finding because it was a finding specific to a certain set of circumstances and I don't feel bound at all to abide by that in this case or this trial.

  • May I reply, if your Honour please?

  • Before you do, Mr Anyah, perhaps you could incorporate an answer to my question in your reply and it may just save a bit of time if I voice it now.

    I'm still not clear whether you're objecting to this tribunal hearing this witness on the grounds that we are biased. Are we facing a motion to disqualify ourselves that we should hand down a decision on or are you merely making some comment on our last finding? And the reason there remains some doubt in my mind is that a few moments ago you said these words, "I will just point out what is the primary basis for our objection" and then later on you say, "so I just reiterate our objection." So on the one hand it's not sounding as though you do have any objection to this next witness coming on and giving evidence, on the other hand you're saying we shouldn't be hearing it, you object to us hearing it. So perhaps when you answer my colleague Justice Sebutinde you could make that clear, please, just what are we facing, from your submissions?

  • Mr Anyah, that was going to be my point also because, as my learned colleague has correctly pointed out, you said that and I would add that you said just now "this is not a new application" which to my mind carries an implication that it is a renewal of a previous application and you did indeed use the word "objection" as my learned brother has correctly pointed out.

  • Thank you, your Honours. I will attempt to address each of your Honours in sequence. With respect to Justice Sebutinde's observations, we certainly agree that the circumstances are different vis-a-vis the procedural circumstances, meaning that this is a 92 bis witness, meaning that you have afforded us the latitude to cross-examine, meaning that the accused are different.

    All of that notwithstanding, and I do see reference to your Honour Justice Sebutinde saying that "I don't see how you can say that: Oh the judges' minds are fixed." I am not suggesting that your minds are fixed. I am merely reiterating that when these types of witnesses come before your Honours we have a standing objection and I still use the word "objection" and in this sense it could be translated and properly would mean an application for disqualification.

    It's not a new application. I am counting on the fact that several months have passed since the primary application was made and I am alerting your Honours to the fact that it is a continuing application as in any and when these types of witnesses come before your Honours we seek to remind your Honours that there is this particular issue to which we have made application or, as some would say, taken an objection.

    With respect, your Honour Justice Sebutinde, despite the procedural changes the import of the witness's evidence remains the same. What the Prosecution seeks to have your Honours distil from the witness's evidence are, generally speaking, crime base issues. But your Honours have found that particular evidence to be credible. You have relied on it to make findings for unlawful killings. You've relied on it to make findings for terrorism. You've relied on it to make findings for physical violence all in the context of the AFRC case.

  • Because the witness was not cross-examined and those were the circumstances. Perhaps you will break him down in this trial with cross-examination and when you do who knows what will happen.

  • And that is why I make it with the backdrop of the objection or application made in respect of TF1-114 who was cross-examined. So, irrespective of whether --

  • I'm sorry, Mr Anyah, but now you're getting to the crux of it, in my opinion. You say this is a continuing objection, but we made a decision on the first objection and, as Ms Baly has pointed out, there are distinctions between that case and this present one. So you say it's a continuing objection. To me the last objection has been disposed of, decided on. Are you making now another application based on the circumstances of this witness?

  • Your Honour, I would propose this: In essence, the import of what I'm saying would amount to a, in some jurisdictions, what you would call a motion for reconsideration, because I have read the part of the transcript where on 14 January I said we wished to make a recurring objection, and that is given, if I can find the relevant page, I think that was given on page 1215 of the transcript of 14 January, and I have read it previously. I have said we would make a recurring application. And given the passage of time I am merely reiterating that point, that in respect of all of these witnesses we have a recurring application.

    To the extent your Honours wish to treat it as a motion for reconsideration, or an application for a reconsideration given the change in circumstances in respect of this particular witness, we would of course welcome it. But I merely rose to point out --

  • No, that was my point, Mr Anyah. This is a different witness. We've decided on the earlier witness and there were some distinguishing features applicable to that witness that don't occur here in this current witness. So we don't take it that you now could possibly be asking for us to review our previous decision. That doesn't have anything to do with this witness.

  • The nuanced difference would be - and I appreciate your Honour's point and I see where the issue lies - I am looking at the issue as being one and the same in sum and substance because we have two witnesses, both of whom appeared previously before your Honours and in respect of which findings were made. Your Honours are making the nuanced distinction that because of the change in circumstances there are different circumstances and I certainly appreciate that it is certainly within your prerogative to make that determination, and I can easily modify my arguments to suit this nuanced distinction you are making.

    Should that be the case, and as it is the case that your Honours find that this is a different circumstance, I would initially ask for permission to speak with my client for a brief moment to see if we wish to make a renewed application. I personally do not wish to make one at this point. I was operating under the assumption that it was necessary for me, as counsel, to reiterate a previous application given the passage of time. But if you allow me leave to consult with Mr Taylor and I would see if he wishes for me to make that application.

  • Mr Anyah, you may of course and must take instructions. To just add to what has already been said, I would add that on 14 January there was a ruling made and that ruling has not been changed by way of appeal or any other way and, in my view, and I think possibly my learned colleagues' view, this is another application. It's not an application to reconsider a decision that was made in relation to the circumstances on that day.

  • Am I being permitted to take instructions?

  • In fact, I certainly thought I clearly said that, but I said you may of course and should take instructions.

  • Thank you, your Honour. Thank you.

  • Excuse me, Mr Anyah, whilst I don't wish to interrupt, if you would prefer to consult with your client in private rather than within the precincts of the Court we can of course accommodate that.

  • No, Madam President. We are almost concluded.

    Madam President, thank you for the opportunity to speak with Mr Taylor. At this point in time and in particular respect to this specific witness we do not wish to make a new application for disqualification pursuant to Rule 15.

  • Thank you for that indication, Mr Anyah. In the circumstances, please call the witness.